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Pendulum swung too far

(7 Posts)
TraumatisedFamily Sun 13-Dec-15 11:49:18

With a feeling of great sadness, helplessness and deep frustration I am posting the following story about one very loving, law abiding and innocent family. I am aware that no follow up will be done on this because of protocol and no law has been broken. But we are not the only family who will have suffered so greatly at the hands of the NHS and many more are going to suffer in the future:

My daughter took her four week old son to be weighed and checked. Like a lot of babies he sucks everything constantly so when, in the morning, she noticed a small bruise on his inner arm she realised what he had done and thought no more about it.The clinic made her go straight to hospital because of this bruise, also telling her he was underweight, still jaundiced and the bones in his head were fusing wrongly - none of which was true and obviously a ploy to get her into the hospital.

At the hospital she was rigorously cross examined for a long time by a doctor who then shocked us all totally be saying she had to spend the night on the ward as this was a legal requirement for any baby with a bruise under six months old. The baby was then subjected to having three phials of blood taken from him. The doctor just kept saying she had to have photographic evidence of the baby doing this sucking to himself.

Her husband was not allowed to stay with her during the night but she took photos and got the staff to see him sucking his arm (she had no sleep of course). However, the next day the child support doctor eventually turned up, ignored all the evidence saying the baby had to undergo all the tests a suspected abused child had to have. She showed no humanity or compassion. She more or less accused my daughter of lying as ‘it was highly unlikely a baby would bruise himself in this way, although perhaps possible it was not probable and she had never seen anything like it before’. On asking what would happen if we just left we were told the police and social workers would come and take the baby away.

The parents had no choice. There followed an horrific 2-3 hours of him constantly screaming while they took approximately 20 x-rays of his whole body, a CT scan of his head (where they said they would have to sedate him if he didn't keep still), eye drops so his eyes could be closely examined and more blood taken.

Many hours later - and with profuse apologies from the nursing staff, they were allowed home as, of course, there was nothing at all wrong with the baby.

The only abuse to a baby here has come from the NHS who also managed to totally traumatise a young mum and cause great anguish to a dad and, indeed us as grandparents. Nobody has a clue whether all these x-rays on such a young, healthy baby, will have any effect in the future and none of the medical staff would give any reassurance on this because, obviously, they don’t know.

We understand why this was been done but surely there must be less intrusive (and possibly harmful) way of dealing with this whole issue.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 13-Dec-15 11:54:55

I am sorry this happened to you - you are right, the pendulum did indeed swing too far sad

Did any of the tests throw up any medical concerns?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 13-Dec-15 12:02:52

Oh god. when word gets around its just going to stop people using these services and putting children at risk.

HVS and hispitals must deal with people with all sorts of back grounds that require discretion and sensitivity. terrifying people like that isn't on at all sad

afreshstartplease Sun 13-Dec-15 12:03:35

This is awful

Will your daughter complain?

VagueIdeas Sun 13-Dec-15 12:09:24

Unfortunately, too many abused babies have been missed by HCPs and have subsequently died, so they have to be very rigorous when babies have unexplained bruises.

And, I have to say, I too am very surprised that a four week old baby was able to suck the inside of his elbow (through clothes?) for such a prolonged period that a bruise formed. Four weeks is earlier than my two babies started mouthing objects, and usually they don't have sufficient arm control to bring an arm to the mouth and keep it there.

So I can totally understand why they said: "‘it was highly unlikely a baby would bruise himself in this way, although perhaps possible it was not probable and she had never seen anything like it before’"

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 13-Dec-15 12:14:24

you only have to look at the feeding threads to hear about the bruising and blood drawn by tiny babies breast feeding. I don't think its too much of a stretch to think the baby could do it to themselves.

although teething usually happens at a few months ok some babies are born with teeth and sone teeth very early so again lots of chewing and sucking

when dd2 was in hospital on a drip she was on very restricted feeding schedule. she spent hours chewing and sucking at the bandage on her hand. and this was a baby who when born could barely manage a bottle her suck was that weak.

I don't think its that surprising.

BeaufortBelle Sun 13-Dec-15 12:20:24

I'd have contacted my solicitor at the point where legal requirement was mentioned. I'd be asking them to quote the precise statutory provision and questioning why the HVs told lies to make your daughter attend the hospital.

If there is a legal requirement the hvs should know and should have explained truthfully. At that point had your daughter refused they could have sought a court order and been quite clear they would do so.

I suspect, if everything you say is true, there us a case for damages here. Why was it that the nurses only were apologetic. Where was the consultant paed with the apology. I'd have had the hospital ceo called the minute "the law" was mentioned.

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